Ideal Stairlifts have recently created an excellent infographic about the ageing population in the UK. An ageing population has a large effect on the country it concerns. It’s important that we understand what an ageing population means, and what we can expect to happen as the population ages.
In the years between 1985 and 2010, the UK population’s median age climbed from 35.4 to 39.7 years. By 2035 it’s predicted that it will rise to 42.2 years.
The number of people living in the UK aged 65 and over increased by 1.7 million between 1985 and 2010. There are a couple of main contributors to this boost, such as healthier lifestyles (smoking rates have declined for example), along with an improved mortality rate which was driven by both technological and medical advances. Simply put, if people end up in hospital they have a far greater chance of survival compared to 20 or 30 years ago.
Comparing the UK to the rest of the EU
When we look at the UK in 1985, it had the second-highest proportion of people who were aged 65 and over in the whole of the EU. However, this number had dropped significantly, and the UK slid to 15th place by 2010. A large reason for this was because there was a high fertility rate between 2000 and 2010 in the UK, and these births bought the median age of UK residents down to 39.7 years, which is below the average of 40.9 years for the rest of the EU.
Working as an older person in the UK
People who are working beyond the age of the State Pension have an opportunity to grow their retirement fund, and also don’t need to pay National Insurance. However it can also be hard for them to deal with prejudices and pressures in the workplace.
One of the most common misconceptions is that older people are occupying jobs which young people need. However an investigation by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found absolutely no evidence that older people are saturating the labour market at the expense of younger people. And it makes sense- we’re less likely to see older people in the entry-level positions which recent graduates are looking for.
Older people also often perform better than their younger counterparts, and studies found that performance is 20% higher when McDonald’s restaurants employ people who are 60 and older.
Sadly, older people also stay unemployed for longer and find it harder to get a job. When it comes to people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more, around 46% were over 50, while just 30% were over 18 and over.
Retiring in the UK
As the amount of people who are aged 65 and older has increased, the age that people are retiring has also changed. In fact the age of retirement used to be 65 and this has now changed with many businesses getting rid of their compulsory retirement age.
It’s also possible to have both a state and personal pension, which means that when you retire you’ll have more money per week. You can make either personal or lump sum payments into this, and can then take up to 25% of it in a tax-free lump sum.
For more information be sure to check out the interesting infographic.